Don't expect a positive answer to your prayers if you have separated yourself from your Father with a heart [mind] full of men's traditions.
EZEK-I-EL, which means El is Strong, or Whom God Strengthens, was standing by the river Chebar (see chapter 1) when he saw the Chariot of Israel come out of the north, carrying the Lord GOD upon His very throne with the Shekinah Glory surrounding Him.
During this personal visit by the Lord GOD, Ezekiel was anointed as a watchman for his people and instructed to eat and digest the entire Word of God and then go preach the Word in the manner of "Thus saith the Lord", to warn the people of the impending siege and captivity by the king Babylon, the type and forerunner of the king of Babylon in Revelation, who is non other than the soon coming Satan as the false-christ.
When we left off in Ezekiel chapter 13, we had learned about those false preachers and ministers who dream up every trick in the book (except to teach His Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse), including claiming God speaks to them, in order to gather sheep into their own fold. We also learned they shall receive their just recompense, and it isn't a pretty sight.
We now continue in chapter 14 where the idolatrous elders of Israel, not Judah, come to Ezekiel seeking to enquire of the Lord.
These are not the elders of Judah, but of the House of Israel. They are from the 10 northern tribes who had been taken captive by the Assyrians about 200 years preceding these elders making this trip to see Ezekiel, whom they obviously recognized as a true prophet of God.Ezekiel 14:1
Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
So they came before God's anointed watchman, Ezekiel, but before they had even opened their idolatrous mouths, the word of the LORD came unto Ezekiel and informed him concerning their abominable, sad state of spiritual and religious debasement.
 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
All these elders could think about was their "traditions of men", their idolatrous, religious practices, even those abominations set up by king Jeroboam (1 Kings 12-13) that caused their captivity in the first place. These religious substitutes of worship for God were foremost on their minds and caused them to stumble and sin greatly before God. Because you see, our Father simply detests idolatry. Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
So the question is: Should our Father put up with them? That's His business, so we will let Him answer for Himself.
"Tell them I will, and still do it in this 21st century through My Word, the Lord GOD says, I the LORD will personally deal with anyone in Israel who worships idols and then comes to ask for my help." (LB) This He will do according to the multitude of their idols, meaning the more idolatrous they are the more severely they will be dealt with.Ezekiel 14:4
Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
Why? So that He might lay hold of the hearts of those of the house of Israel who have separated themselves from Him through their idol worship. In more basic terms, "To GET THEIR ATTENTION and cause them to Repent (next verse)." That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Have you ever wondered how it is that we have so many churches and church going people in our nation and yet we are in the midst of the great famine for hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11)?
There are that many people who go to church in this nation that the Word of God should flow through our nation like a great river. Yet it does not, and instead Biblical illiteracy abounds! The majority of churches do NOT teach our Father's Word chapter by chapter and line by line, do they? All you get is here a verse and there a verse, and then usually without explanation. But the buildings are beautiful, the songs are uplifting, the people are smiling, the activities are thriving, the missionaries are funded, the sick are prayed for, and food is gathered for the hungry. All this is done in the name of Jesus and everyone feels good.
Is this what the house of God is for?
Well, no matter, for EVERY ONE, i.e. each and every one of us, will the Lord GOD deal with on an individual basis in these last days! It will be every man for himself (no gender implied) as we shall see in the latter verses of this chapter.
For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
you follow those who cover-up and "whitewash" the truth who we read about
in chapter 13? Do you follow preachers who claim that God speaks to them,
when God clearly stated in the last chapter He does not speak such frivolity?
you follow preachers who teach you to roll Ishtar eggs and play with
bunnies and come watch the sun come up at the time of our Lord's
Passover instead calling it Easter, named after the sex goddess, Ashtoreth the queen of heaven?
Do you follow preachers who babble unintelligible syllables and claim the
Holy Spirit made them do it, which shows their complete lack of scholarship
and declares them
unqualified to teach His Word?
If your church does not teach the Word of God chapter by chapter and line by line, then what good is it?
You see, you might feel real good, but you will be in big trouble on judgment day!
You do not want God to "set His face against yours", i.e. to be at odds with you, because you will surely lose and He will make an example out of you! And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Yet, all of this can be avoided if we just study His Word and DO His will, which is what He wants us to do, not what we want to do or what preachers tell us to do!
Our Father is not mean or cruel. He is very kind and gentle and loving toward His children who love Him and keep His commandments.
If a preacher or "Rev" allows himself to be deceived by not studying the Word of God, and leads astray those in his congregation (next verse) who follow his teaching, or lack there of, God will deal with him FIRST and remove him at His coming, and there shall be no more false prophets among the people. It is written, thus saith the Lord in 1 Peter 4:17, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God..." As we have learned in our previous studies, being an elder or spiritual leader of God's children carries with it ENORMOUS consequences, which could be very good or very, very bad. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
How severe will false preachers be dealt with?
The false teacher will suffer not only the punishment from his own sin but that of everyone that he or she has misled, or starved to death (spiritually) . As we read in verse 3 of chapter 13, "WOE unto the foolish prophets...". And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
God WILL put a stop to all of man's church traditions which lead His children astray.
That time is fast approaching.
 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
And so the subject now switches to the future, to the time of the end, to that hour of temptation just before the Day of the Lord.
We will document it as we go.
The phrase "trespassing grievously" in Hebrew is "ma-al ma-al", Strong's #s 4603 & 4604, which is a figure of speech called a Polyptoton, which means "many inflections". It is when the same part of speech is repeated in different inflections, such as "visiting will visit you" or "seeing we saw" or in this case "to trespass a trespass" which means "to cover-up sin" or "covert falsehoods", i.e. great abominable idolatry such as will occur when the false-christ shows up.Ezekiel 14:12
The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,
 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
It will be at that time that the "staff of bread" will be broken and the famine of Amos 8:11 will be in full fury! Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:"
At that time it will be every man (or woman) for himself. You will either have the "tav" (Ezek. 9:4), which is the seal of God in your forehead [mind], or you will have the "mark of the beast", which is deception in your forehead [mind].
And there will never have been a time of trouble like it before in the history of mankind, nor shall there ever be again (Dan. 12:1).
There will be NO intercessor. Even such greats as Noah, Daniel, and Job would do you no good. The only intercessor will be Jesus Christ, the Lord GOD.Ezekiel 14:14
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
In other words, you are on your own! It's now between you and the Lord.
The noisome beasts are that locust army (Rev. 9) that shall make desolate. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:
You are on your own! Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.
The Sword of Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Rev. 1:16).Satan also has his sword, the false word, that spiritually slays the souls of men. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it:
You are on your own! Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.
Pestilence and disease always follow famine. Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:
It is that spiritual death caused from eating Satan's wormy garbage that takes the place of the true nourishing bread of life.
You are on your own! Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
Question? When does God send these four judgments upon Jerusalem? The answer is when the four winds are let loose, even at the 6th Trump, when Satan rides in on the pale white horse claiming to be the Messiah.Ezekiel 14:21
For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
And yet, behold! The remnant, i.e. God's elect, shall be brought forth in these last days, both sons and daughters, and they shall be delivered up to the evil one and shall give testimony for His name sake (Mark 13). And many shall witness their testimony and shall be comforted [repentant] and come out of Babylon, which is to say confusion.Rev. 6:8
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it.
Our Father loves His children very much, and even though His plan of salvation has a negative part to it, a "tough love" part, which is His rod of correction, He has purposed it so to bring many of His children to repentance and back into His loving, outstretched arms. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.
How perfect the plan of God.
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